Thank you, and good morning.|
When I became Nintendo president, we decided on a new goal for our company expanding the total number of people who play games.
In order to do this, we needed to target not only current gamers but two different types of consumers those who once played, but who had lost interest.
And even those who had never played before.
how would we do this?
The industry has always tried to improve in the same direction with games that are more gorgeous and more complex. But in order to approach lapsed or former gamers and non-gamers, these types of games can not serve our purpose.
The logical solution is to re-invent the relationship between player and game - the game controller interface. We believe this approach can appeal to a much broader audience but also excite core gamers.
This is important because core gamers always represent our most important audience.
Our first implementation was Nintendo DS.
Like many disruptive innovations, at first it confused some people. But these people began to understand when they started to 'pet' their puppies with a stylus and talk to them through the microphone.
Next, in japan we launched the first of the brain games. They have already been played by millions of people who never tried a video game before. Many people in our industry thought these consumers were impossible to reach, but now the trend is spreading to the western world.
So, how do we continue this strategy with Wii?
One hand control with the Wii remote is just like the touch screen of DS. It breaks down a barrier to non-gamers and lapsed gamers. For anyone, it is comfortable. In addition, most lapsed gamers have wonderful memories of games they used to play. The virtual console aspect of Wii will bring them together again. And the virtual console will also act as a 'living laboratory' for simple, intuitive games.
Using the creative approach with the Wii remote control, and the business model of the virtual console, maybe a game like 'Tetris' can be feasible once again.
In the past 20 years, as game systems improved in functionality there were also downsides. Among these, the startup time before game play begins is growing longer and longer. I have been planning, developing and playing games for a long time. And I still love all of this. But these days, I am busier than ever.
And if I have to wait 30 seconds or 40 seconds or more for a game to load. Often I get frustrated and sometimes I just can not wait. And now that I know I can instantly stop or start playing my DS by just closing or opening the top, I think I am spoiled.
Maybe this has happened to you, too.
If serious gamers find these delays frustrating, how can we ever expect the mass market to show more patience than we do?
Unless we change, we can never increase the game play population.
The Wii console will also help solve this problem.
It can power up virtual console games and applications like our Opera web browser saved to Flash ROM almost as fast as a telephone or television in just a few seconds.
And let me describe one more hardware feature.
No game console, no matter how powerful, serves any purpose when it is turned off. So we designed our machine to provide owners a variety of services even when it seems like it is turned off. Wii will become 'the system that never sleeps.'
Using a design called 'wii-connect-24', the console automatically enters standby mode without the fan running but still operating key functions and using power about the same as a miniature light bulb.
Importantly, this means the Wii console can be constantly connected to the internet. For you hard core gamers, this means developers can 'push' a new weapon or vehicle or level to you even while you sleep.
For beginning gamers, just starting with something like Animal Crossing, anytime the console is in standby, they may return to find that a friend has visited their village and left a message or a gift.
And other developers will configure their games so that players will receive the game elements or information that the designer wishes. And programmers won't need to write a single line of code. Networking software is included in the hardware and developers can decide to add these functions at any time.
What we are aiming for is a system that is new every day.
Then finally, the most difficult job is to reach people who have never played before. To approach them, we need to remove several walls.
New controllers and the virtual console are important, but most important is software that these people will really want to play. These games would allow a core gamer and a non-gamer to happily and immediately compete against each other.
What kind of game can do that?
Among the examples you'll play tomorrow is Wii-sports.
This is a combination which will include tennis, golf and baseball in one package. It will be available on launch day. Beginning players will find control with the Wii remote intuitive and appealing. Serious gamers will find it a surprising way to attempt something they've already done many times before.
Expanding the game audience with Wii means increasing the number of people in any household who are involved with games.
Today, there are people who play and people who do not. Wii will help destroy that wall between them.
Regardless of age, gender and game experience, anyone can instantly understand Wii. And Wii can provide anyone with fresh, new experiences.
Everyday, there is something new.
For everyone, everyday.
This is our answer.